I had the opportunity to sit down (over Zoom) with Lisa Wallace, owner of I’m The Chef Too! This amazing company blends food, STEM, and the arts into educational fun!
Lisa’s story is like many entrepreneurs. After several years of being misdiagnosed as being on the spectrum, Lisa’s eldest son, who is now eight, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called PANDAS. PANDAS is diagnosed when “there is a close relationship between the abrupt onset or worsening of OCD, tics, or both, and a strep infection.” Lisa’s son had inflammation of the brain caused by Step A. Since her son showed no symptoms of strep, this disease was overlooked until last year. Lisa found that the only way she could connect with her son was in the kitchen.
Lisa used baking as a teachable moment by combining the educational concepts she developed as a teacher for over 10 years with fun recipes. Her son was learning and didn’t even know it! Lisa left teaching to stay at home with her growing family, but her passion, creativity, and experience in the classroom led to the development of her business.
Lisa’s “ah-ha” moment was when one of her friends said, “When can I drop my kids off in your kitchen?” At that point, she opened her kitchen to the public and started teaching classes in her own home. Her operation soon outgrew her home, so Lisa created a rolling kitchen which she used to bring, I’m The Chef Too! to schools and camps.
Then COVID hit. Instead of taking a step back, Lisa decided to create her Adventure Kits to reach kids nationwide! Each Adventure Kit includes everything needed to make the recipe and teach the lesson. Now kids at home can learn about chemical reactions while they make Erupting Volcano Cakes or learn about the galaxy while creating Galaxy Donuts.
These kits are designed for children ages four to fourteen to do the adventure on their own, although younger children can also enjoy them with some help from their parents. Additionally, I’m The Chef Too! is working on rolling out an optional virtual component for step by step guidance.
What’s great about each kit is that every moment of the baking experience is filled with an activity. While their recipe is baking, the child is creating edible paint or working on coloring their fondant. No down time with these awesome kits! The STEM activity included with each kit is as an extension of the adventure to support and enrich the learning experience.
Lisa, originally from Marlboro New Jersey, has three kids (four, six, and eight). She has been a Maryland resident for over a decade and loves it! Her Adventure Kits have earned three awards in 2020 alone including The Parents Pick Award, National Parenting Award, and Family Choice Award.
I asked Lisa what her biggest challenge has been as a Momprenuer, and here is what she has to say:
“Balancing everything all at once, being a mom, wife, and business owner. It’s very difficult to find balance and be successful. A lot of people don’t take mother entrepreneurs seriously. We are considered stay-at-home moms with a hobby. You must move past the negativity, reach for your dreams, and think about how you want to grow your business. Us moms do a lot of work and don’t always get the credit for it. Also, you must seek help when you need it!”
Today, Lisa’s son is doing great. He’s been on the road to recovery for over a year, and now Lisa and her husband are finally getting to know who their son is.
You can purchase an I’m The Chef Too! adventure kit HERE. There are seven kits to choose from, including the newly released Gingerbread Holiday Dress Up Kit!
Cool Deal: I’m The Chef Too! is offering a 10% discount to our readers with the code CoolMom!
You can also get to know Lisa by joining Cool Moms of Howard County!